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Summer of Fun 2022 kicks off in New Haven; Students walk and earn free books

The event encourages students and their families to exercise and read this summer.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Thursday marked the start of the 2022 Summer of Fun Fitness Challenge in New Haven, where students met at East Shore Park to exercise and had a chance to win some prizes.

The event works to promote learning and exercise over the summer months, with the message "healthy bodies healthy minds." 

"Learning doesn’t take a vacation," said Gemma Joseph Lumpkin, the organizer of the event and the Chief of Youth, Family, and Community with New Haven Public Schools. "We want our students and their families to come out, enjoy this beautiful weather, enjoy this beautiful East Shore Park." 

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Students and families of the New Haven Public School District warmed up for a walk in the park, and students that completed the walk received a free book and a chance to win an iPad.

"We came here to get some books," said student, Christian Agapantecato.  

The books were for all students big and small. 

"I got ocean creatures," said Aiden Scott. 

"The Big Dipper" was the book 4-year-old Abigail Moody said she received.

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This is an event that parents in the community are thankful for. 

"From four all the way up to high school, freshmen and sophomores and juniors are here so I think it’s a fabulous opportunity for our kids," said Abigail's father, Aaron Moody. 

The walk was a fun way to tour the city parks and meet new friends. 

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"Being a school employee and a parent that lives in New Haven it’s awesome to have events like this throughout the summer," said Scott. "To kind of break that physical sweat but be sure kids are engaging in academics and breaking that mental sweat as well."

"This is about summer of fun we’re coming off of COVID, masks are off in New Haven, we’re saying get out here enjoy the weather, each other, and all New Haven has to offer for the students," said Lumpkin. 

There are plenty of opportunities to join this program this summer. The details can be found here

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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